camp_tipsyGuess what ???  We are stinkingly proud to present Camp Tipsy at EBMMF 2016 !!

Join Camp Tipsy at the EBMMF and build your own rotten boats using 2/4s, pieces of plywood, rope, foam and any interesting tidbits from their pile of junk that fits your style, skill, disposition and imagination. They will be bringing power tools to the fair for you to use at their booth so you can go buck-wild and see what you end up making!

They are hoping for a body of H2O to test out your amazing; heartfelt creations, but water or not you will be building boats at their maker booth!

Because, because, because It’s fun to build a boat !!!

We spoke with Colin Fahrion who is a board member at the San Francisco Institute of Possibility.and helps with branding, event planning and everything else that makes art and creation a possibility!


riverboat-2016What is Camp Tipsy and who came up with the boat building idea?

Camp Tipsy is an annual rotten-boat building contest and camp-out held at East Park Reservoir in Colusa County, California organized by the SFIOP.

The event is open to all ages and skill levels with the idea being, building the silliest, sloppiest, craziest boats with a possibility of floating in the lake.  The goal is to build a boat that stems from your imagination with recycled junk and awesome power tools amidst nature. The only lay of the lake at Camp Tipsy is, what goes in the lake comes out of the lake with no trace left behind.

The idea of building boats was the brainchild of the legendary Chicken John who also happens to be the executive director of SFIOP.

power-toolsAt Camp Tipsy they have an entire workshop dedicated to building boats, equipped with power tools, wood, foam, bottles, milk jugs, furniture and random pieces of  scraps that they lovingly refer to as a pile of junk . Once the boats have been built and flaunted on the lake they get dismantled and the materials go back in the pile they came from. Occasionally people bring their own building material and leave it behind when the event ends for reuse the following year.

Colin tells us when he first thought of going to the event he was extremely intimidated by the idea of building. However he showed up with no clue on what to build and with no tools of his own. Not only did he build his first boat, he ended up as the winner of one of the contest categories. Ever since, he has been fondly returning to the event year after year for a total of 5 years now! Boat builders at Camp Tipsy are often fondly referred to as recreationeer (recreation + engineer).

What are the some of the fun aspects of Camp Tipsy ? 

mermaidOf course, the funnest and biggest attraction is the idea of building a boat from concept to realization. Additional gratification comes from the act of winning a valueless award for absurd categories like “Unnecessary use of materials”, “Boat most likely to sink but doesn’t”, “Boat least like a boat”, “Worst Implementation”, “Worst Idea”, “Least Effort” etc. The kids can enjoy their own category called “Sherif of kidtown”, which is the first award that is given at the contest, naturally as kids go first at Camp Tipsy.

Kids love being outdoors and watching the different creative boats on the lake and enjoy being in the water.

Colin brought up that one of his funnest memories from the past events is when this child just pushed her father into the lake and climbed on him to make the “Least Effort” category boat, ROFL!
In addition to the main fun event they have kids play zone near the shallow part of the lake, where kids typically hang out while adults are having fun building boats. The kids zone is  away from the stage area where the musical bands play every evening. There are live music events for kids to enjoy earlier in the day as well.  Dancing is also part of the fun times. The intent is for the event to be family friendly and open to all age groups.

How many years has Camp Tipsy been in the running and what is the attendance like?

Camp Tipsy finished its 11th year in 2016 and had close to 700 participants this past summer. It is a four day long event and generally people bring camping supplies when they come in and utilize mostly what’s in the Tipsy warehouse to build boats. Part of wrapping up the event is cleaning up after yourselves and dismantling what you build and returning the raw materials used in the construction back to the pile of junk.


Do you remember any boats that were Likely to Sink, but didn’t?

Strap enough foam or barrels on and it’s hard to make it sink. Usually the problem is capsizing or being too big to paddle. That said the person last year who created the kayak out of PVC pipes and billboard vinyl was impressive!


Which category sees the most entries?

Least Effort is always a popular entry and as a result one of the hardest to judge and win.

couch boat

Are electric or high  power motorized boats being built at Camp Tipsy? 

The boats that are typically built at Camp Tipsy are either pedal powered motorized boats or human powered boats. Most boats are low powered motorized or a mile an hour boats. They typically encourage building boats that people can navigate using oars and pedals.

Bringing motorized boats and jet skis is not encouraged as that goes against the very idea that Camp Tipsy stands for.

What are some unique and interesting boats that have been built over the years ? 

Colin named a few pedal powered ferris wheel boat, hot-tub boat and three-storied boat. We found a few images for your enjoyment, that looked fun and interesting from the photo gallery that Colin shared from the event last year as well.